Lee Brumitt Secures Win for Client Accused of Missouri Merchandising Practices Act Violations


Dysart Taylor trial success

Dysart Taylor director Lee Brumitt secured a jury verdict in favor of his client, an apartment management company, against claims that it violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) based on alleged deceptive practices in the leasing and termination of a lease.

The plaintiffs in this case, two tenants who leased an apartment which began experiencing HVAC problems, claimed that the management company misrepresented the apartment unit as “energy efficient,” terminated the lease early based on false pretenses, and retaliated against the plaintiffs for complaining and for organizing a tenants’ union. Brumitt successfully argued that his client terminated the plaintiffs’ lease prior to the contract expiration date because of major, necessary repairs needed in the unit. The evidence at trial was that the plaintiffs were the first occupants of their apartment and there was no basis for the management company to know that the apartment’s HVAC system would not deliver the amount of heat desired by the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs’ last demand of $535,000 prior to trial included alleged damages consisting of total reimbursement for paid rent, excessive utility bills, and furnishings purchased for the apartment; emotional distress; attorney’s fees under MMPA; and any punitive damages.

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